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Singletary's Notebook: April 26


RE: Opening statement
"Hello guys. Good to see you again. We're just trying to get through the rest of the draft and find some more players. Very excited with what we've been able to accomplish so far. Just going down the pike here and seeing how it ends up."

RE: Starting with Glen Coffee, how do the 49ers envision splitting time with Frank Gore?
"Frank is the guy. It's just one of those things where you have a guy that's there who's a downhill runner: very determined, physical, runs behind his pads. He gives you what you want. I think, from time to time, we'll get him in there and, certainly, with all the wear and tear on Frank, we just want to make sure we're taking care of him.

RE: Does he have a similar running style to Frank Gore?
"There is a difference when you look at the two. Frank is more of a slasher guy. He is a physical runner as well. Coffee is more of a downhill kind of a guy. There's not a whole lot of slash in him. It's just, 'I'm just coming at you. If you're there, I'm going to take you on. Maybe I'll make you miss, if I have a chance. But, for the most part, I'm running to daylight.'"

RE: With him weighing 209 or 210, are you concerned about him as a downhill guy in this league?
"If he had to be an every-down guy, yes I would be. But I think he would complement Frank very well in the way he runs and with the authority that he runs with. I really think it will be a very nice mix."

RE: He mentioned that he thought he had the ability to put on an additional 10 pounds. Is that something you want to see for him?
"I think every player, or every back, every position, for the most part – I think most guys know what they feel comfortable at. If he feels that, 'Hey, I want to add another five or 10 pounds.' Then so be it, as long as he feels confident with it. Some guys pick up more weight and all of a sudden they start getting nicked here and there. So, it just depends on how comfortable he is with it."

RE: Do you envision him as a 5-10 carry-per game kind of back?
"First of all, I want to get him here and see how he picks up the system and see how things go. First and foremost, I just envision Frank. Whatever Frank leaves over, with whatever little bit he leaves on the plays, Coffee can pick it up. And that's kind of how I envision it."

RE: What about him as a pass receiver?
"As far as I know, he can catch the ball coming out of the backfield. But, the primary concern for me was his running style and what he gives us running the football. So, that was the primary concern."

RE: You guys took Nate Davis, and he was very open about his open learning disability. Was that an issue you guys wanted to address and feel comfortable with?
"I was very impressed with his openness. He's the guy that brought it up. He said, 'Coach, I'm going to tell you up front. I have a learning disability. I'm dyslexic. That's one of the things I guess in the upcoming drafts some people have kind of knocked me down a little bit and kind of counting me out. I can learn, will learn, and I just have to get it my way.' I talked to Mike Johnson, our quarterback coach, and he's very confident that whatever it is, we can handle it. Very excited to have him. He's just a guy to me, that is very talented. Has a very strong arm. Very durable guy. So, I'm very excited to have him, and have Mike Johnson work with him and bring him along."

RE: When it comes to football, he said the disability wasn't really an issue. Is that something you picked up on in your meeting?
"Well, I feel like this: If someone has a learning disability, the most important thing for the coach that's going to be coaching him is to make sure that you find out. You can be dyslexic, but there's just certain levels of dyslexia that's there. And the coach who's coaching him, he really has to really pay attention to that and understand that and invest the time to get to where this is a comfortable learning style for this young man and let's build on that. I think the most important thing for me that happened in this whole process was Nate was open about it. Now, if he had come into the meeting and didn't say anything about it, and maybe I'd asked him at the end of the interview, the conversation, and he said, 'Well, I really don't have a learning disability.' Now I've got a problem because now it's very difficult to help someone who will not admit that, first of all, that they have an issue. So, I was excited because now that that lets me know that we have something to work with."

RE: We had Nate on the conference call in the press trailer and he said that he did not have dyslexia. Do you understand that he does?
"I'll put it this way: as we talked, maybe there are different levels of it or whatever, but that's kind of what I understand it to be. Maybe there are different versions of it. I don't know. If he said he didn't have it, maybe he means on another level or whatever but I'll let that go where it is."

RE: Did you talk to Ball State or did you feel like it wasn't an issue there?
"We talked to his former quarterback coach who's at another place now but he just said, 'The thing that you have to do with Nate is just make it simple to begin with. Start him out slower, just like we have to do with most quarterbacks anyways, and then just slowly, gradually, continue the process and he should do fine.'"

RE: You're in no hurry to get him on the field, are you?
"Absolutely. I just think that we're sitting there at five and we're thinking, 'Wow, we have an opportunity to get this guy.' And we were just hoping that we really did have the opportunity to come back and tag him and have him on our team before someone else did because he certainly has a heck of an arm. At the beginning of the season, he was one of those guys they were talking about going in the first pick. Maybe mid-season, something happened. Took a turn. But I'm very happy to have him."

RE: Did Mike Johnson express any concern about the fact that Davis doesn't use the laces when he throws? Is that an issue at all?
"No. When I talked to Mike Johnson about it, it's just a matter of some things technically that every quarterback has, whether it's the laces or whatever it might be. But the biggest issue was just the learning disability and to be able to make sure that he feels comfortable with that. And he has all the information that he needs, and I'm sure now that we have him we'll gain some more information and just kind of go from there."

RE: Earlier in the fifth round, you took [Scott] McKillop. Were you thinking Davis possibly there?
"We were hoping he was there. When we did it that way, we looked at the linebacker situation and realized that [McKillop] had some real value as a long snapper as well. Something that we needed. The other thing – he would really help us on special teams. And, he's a pretty decent linebacker as well. So felt very good about the fact that he was there. So we're looking at two players that we really didn't feel would be there at that particular pick."

RE: Will you keep four quarterbacks on the roster this year?
"Don't know at this point. Don't know. Can't answer that right now."

RE: Going into this draft, a lot was made about the pass rush. You basically really only had Parys [Haralson]. Manny [Lawson] really hasn't been a pass rusher. Why haven't you guys addressed that need so far?
"For the most part, as we looked at the board and how we graded the players, either they weren't there when we were drafting or it was a player that just did not fit into what we were doing. It would be very easy just to go get a pass rusher or defensive end to appease someone but I just think it's very important for us to have someone who's going to actually upgrade what we already have and I feel very comfortable with Manny doing the things that he needs to do to get better. I think Manny's totally healed. I think he's been moving great. I think his confidence is going to be there. I think he's just going to get better. I think Parys Haralson: he's just going to get better. I don't want to sit here and try to tell you, 'Oh, you know what? We had him all along.' But I do want to tell you this: we're just going to work our tails off and continue to work at it and hopefully get where we need to go in terms of getting to the quarterback. We'll find a way to get there."

RE: Even behind Manny, really you have no depth there either. How do you plan to address that?
"We'll finish this draft out and we'll come back, and we certainly know that that's something that we want to accomplish in this draft: try to find some help there. But I'm confident that somehow, some way, we'll get what we need. But we'll address it at some point in time."

RE: Were you on board with trading away that second and fourth round pick yesterday?
"As a coach, I'm never going to be excited about switching out and getting something for next year. As a coach, no, you don't get excited about that initially. But then you sit down and you look at the board and you look at the opportunity to have two number ones next year. And as we looked at our board, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to say, 'Hey, you know what, Scot? That's a heck of a move. That's a very good move.'"

RE: Does [Scott] McKillop project to be a Ted linebacker? Is that the plan to have him play?
"Ted or Mike, it depends but I think he's flexible. I think that he's one of those guys that could do either. I know he's a very bright guy and when you watch him play, he can play either Ted or Mike. We'll see how it goes."

RE: Will he challenge Jeff Ulbrich for a spot on the roster?
"He's going to challenge everybody. When he comes in there's competition everywhere I wouldn't just say 'Well, he's going to challenge Jeff Ulbrich.' We just want the best guys on the field so in my mind everybody out there, whether it's Jeff Ulbrich or whomever it might be if we brought another linebacker in, it's just a matter of how the numbers work out. But the competition has to be there and we'll go from there."

RE: Another position that was thought to be in need going into the draft was offensive tackle
"We had a head-on issue with it. You've got Michael Oher there, you've got [Michael] Crabtree. So what do you do? You want to tear up something. You'd like for it to be Crabtree or it's Michael Oher. But when they're both there at the same time and how we had our board, Crabtree is one of the best players in the draft so you've got to go there."

RE: After the first round was there an interest for a spot at tackle?
"Not the way that the board worked out. There just wasn't the value there when we were picking."

RE: Was there any talk when he started to fall into the 20's? Did you guys have enough ammo to go up and just get him?
"We didn't. We would've cleaned ourselves out on the back end. You have to begin to look at 'Okay, how much it this going to cost me?' Everything has a value and I think in this draft, certainly there were people moving up. More people were moving back and I think that this was one of those drafts where it was going to cost us so much to try to go back and get him that we just couldn't get there."

RE: Of course we have to ask you about taking a guy named Bear. What do you think of Mr. Pascoe?
"I think he is a tough, hard-nosed guy that is going to give you everything that he has. You know exactly what you're going to get when you get a guy like this because he gives you everything he has. I mean, he's a fighter. He's a competitor, and he just gets after it. So I'm very excited to have him."

RE: Is it fair to say that he's got more pass catching ability than Billy Bajema had in that same blocker role?
"Without talking so much about what Billy Bajema couldn't do, I would say that he's a good athlete and he's consistent and it's definitely an upgrade there. So I'm excited for him and excited for what he brings to us."

RE: When do you see Nate Davis having a chance to be a factor at quarterback?
"In terms of time frame? I've just got to get him in and see how he responds to the playbook, see how he responds to coaching, particularly how he responds to Mike Johnson. And then it's just a matter of if Mike goes through the process of, 'Here's the technique, here's what we have to do here. Here's the way your feet have to be.' So it just depends how soon and how quickly will he be able to adapt to that. Then it's just kind of going from there. But I'm sure I'll be talking to Mike on an ongoing basis just as I do with the other two quarterbacks that we have and competing. So we'll see how it goes."

RE: Is it the indication that it will be this year?
"This year, we've got Alex Smith and we've got Shaun Hill. Those two guys are competing for that job and at the quarterback position right now that's enough to look at and focus on. Anything else outside of that unless something just comes up and just knocks us out, that's where the focus is on. As far as Nate Davis is concerned, I'm very happy to have him and hopefully that process will take care of itself and we'll see how fast he adjusts."

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